A penile prosthesis, or implant, is a treatment for men who can’t get or keep an erection. Your doctor may recommend an implant if you have tried oral medication and it has not worked. A penile implant also may be used to treat a curve or bend in the penis, called Peyronie’s disease.
There are two types of penile implants: malleable and inflatable. A malleable, or bendable, implant has a tube with rods that are placed into the shaft of the penis. The implant stays firm all the time. When you want an erection, you hold the penis and move it into the desired position.
When you are done, you bend it back down against your body. The inflatable implant is the most common type of implant. This implant can be inflated to create an erection and deflated at other times.
The surgeon places two inflatable rods in the penis. A reservoir device that contains a saline solution is placed in the lower abdominal muscles. It is attached to a pump that sits under the loose skin of the scrotum, between the testicles. When you want an erection, you press on the pump.
This causes the saline solution to travel to the rods, inflating them. When you are done, you press on a deflation valve at the base of the pump. This returns the fluid to the reservoir. Most men find implants produce erections that let them have intercourse.
A penile implant does not make the penis longer or change how sex feels. It does not affect ejaculation or a man’s ability to reach orgasm.